Sunday, November 23, 2008


6 TV Shows I Like to Watch
1.  Utah Jazz
2.  American Idol
3.  Today Show
4.  Dancing with the Stars
5.  Movies on Hallmark Channel
6.  Sorry . . . Out of answers . . .

6 Things That Happened Yesterday
1.  Finally started Christmas shopping--real deals already!
2.  Ran into Jason & Mary Okerlund at Costco--I'll forgive the "red" attire
3.  Watched BYU vs. Utah football game -- Oh, well; it's just a game
4.  Visited with Ryan, Bethany, Audrey, Devin, and Megan
5.  Went to BYU basketball game with Jorgensens--Thanks for those front row tickets
6.  Slept in until 7:00 a.m.--A rare treat at our house

6 Favorite Places to Eat
1.  Red Lobster
2.  Cafe Rio
3.  Red Mango
4.  El Mexicano (still)
5.  Olive Garden
6.  Subway

6 Things I'm Looking Forward to
1.  Winter Snow Storm (just one time)
2.  June - July - August
3.  Summer Concerts at the Orem Outdoor Theater - MUST SEE!
4.  Deron Williams - Carlos Boozer - Kyle Korver to return to the court
5.  Reading a non-school book during Christmas break
6.  A Completed Redwood Road Construction Project

6 Things That I Wish for
1.  Visits from Halle, Audrey, and Chase
2.  A classroom with windows
3.  Magical paper-grader
4.  North Sevier victories
5.  To lose 10 pounds--at least
6.  A 401-K that doesn't keep falling

I tag anyone over 40--come on ladies; you can do this!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's a Boy!

Like all moms-to-be, Ashley wondered if her baby would ever arrive. The only day she wanted to avoid--Halloween!  Luckily, the phone didn't ring that day.  But we did get the good news on Election Day, November 4.  The little guy's name . . . Chase Samuel Taylor.   Chase is our third grandchild, and like Halle and Audrey, we know he will fill our life with all that is good.  

During the days that Mom, Dad, and baby Chase stayed at the hospital, Craig and I kept Halle busy by shopping at her favorite store Hello Kitty, playing with Cocoa, going to the Jazz game, eating hot dogs (surprisingly, her favorite food), and watching every grandparent's favorite show "Little Einstein."  

Welcome Chase!

The Season for Witches!

On October 31, two little witches named Halle and Audrey flew in on their brooms to surprise their grandparents with smiles, giggles, and a few not-so-scary faces! 

Devin even made a quick stop at home that afternoon to see his nieces before  racing back to BYU for a Stake Halloween party. 

While I've never been an avid Halloween fan (probably from my days of teaching school and trying to maintain some semblance of order in the classroom), Halle and Audrey certainly were the highlights of a long night of knocks at the door from visiting spooks and goblins.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Excuses . . . It's Now My Turn . . .

How pathetic!  Two months have gone by since I last updated my blog page!  I feel like one of my unprepared students who's begging for forgiveness with another sad-but-true story of a missing assignment!  So what's my excuse?  You be the teacher.  See if any of these actual excuses "pass the test."

1. Bingham High School (put your hand on your heart) is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. I took my camera to school the first week for some random pictures for one of my bulletin boards, and, yes, the camera is still at school!  Thus, no pictures for this blog.

2.  We're testing our health insurance with multiple trips to the E.R., hospital, and doctor offices this month.  Craig has had gall bladder surgery and an emergency root canal.  I had a weird allergic reaction to an antibiotic which turned into something called Steven-Johnson Syndrome.  I felt like I belonged in some medical school textbook or the University of Utah burn unit.   It was probably the sickest I've ever been in my life, but we're both back to the living now, thank goodness. 
3. I still haven't learned that giving writing assignments means grading writing assignments!  Every night I drag the bag of essays home, only to pack it back the next morning still not finished.  Oh, I miss North Sevier's small classes, not to mention "much better writers!"

4.  Primary - Primary - Primary.  Where are all these kids coming from?  Every week we have another meeting to divide another Sunbeam or Nursery class.  I'm spending all my waking hours memorizing names!

5.   Life is not too eventful at the Burr house. It's hard to get excited about writing stories about the dog. How can I compete with all your cute stories of your young families?  

Yes, these excuses are pathetic--but true.  I'll be better next month. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Workin' & Playin' in New Orleans

Since Craig began working for the Department of Corrections over 18 years ago, I never fully understood what went on behind those "closed doors."  People continually ask me, "What does he do?"  My answers are always descriptions that I'd mark "weak in content" if someone responded that way in an essay.  But I learned a few things about prisons over the years--just "expect the unexpected."  

I've learned that prisons don't have conferences in normal vacation spots like Anaheim, New York City, Orlando, or Honolulu.  Rather, Craig has been sent to places that I never would have dreamed of visiting, but out of curiosity, I seem to pack my bags each year and tag along.   The past few years we've ended up in Cincinnati, Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and this year (of all places) New Orleans.  (Next year . . . Jackson, Mississippi!)

Anyway, we just returned from a week in New Orleans.  (I actually had spent a few days there about ten years ago where Jill Porter, Lexa Larsen, and Nancy Dexter dragged me out of the hotel room long enough to check out the French Quarters, eat shrimp, and hear wanna-be Jazz musicians on every corner of the city.  In my naive world at that time I hadn't even heard of "Hooters.")  So I was certain that with Craig at workshops all day I would be spending every minute inside my hotel room with bolted doors to keep out the men with python snakes, the prostitutes, and the legally drunk tourists!  

But something happened since my previous visits:  Hurricane Katrina.  The New Orleans we just visited seemed like a ghost town where abandoned businesses and homes seemed to be the norm.  I called it a "beautifully sad place."  Some spots of New Orleans area were just what I had once pictured in my mind with "Gone with the Wind-style" plantation homes, endless miles of untouched bayou, and the amazing Mississippi River. 

But most of the city and the surrounding suburbs revealed the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina.  Businesses, hospitals, car dealerships, and amusement parks like Six Flags were left as though they had been built only to be abandoned.  More homes seemed vacated rather than occupied, and even golf courses were nothing more than three-year old fields of grass just waiting to be cut. In my mind I kept thinking, "This is three years after the hurricane!"

I headed to New Orleans to get a "last-minute-of-summertime-before-school-starts vacation," and I ended up experiencing a real-live history lesson of an almost-forgotten place.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Front-Yard Makeover . . .

We just finished landscaping our front yard this week--almost 360 days since we were first handed the keys to our "home away from home."  It seems that we have been digging non-stop since the first day we moved in. Luckily, Craig isn't afraid of shovels and picks and wheelbarrows and rocks and left-over cement, and more rocks, and clay soil, and snow, and more snow . . . .  

I had always thought that Utah County seemed like a modern-day Garden of Eden with dirt that would produce award-winning vegetables for the Utah State Fair. Such a fallacy!

So for all of you who are complaining about the heat and just waiting to lock up the lawn mower for another season, I hope these pictures will remind you that July's sizzling temperatures aren't all that bad!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All Aboard the Heber Creeper

Who: Ashley  Halle  Bethany  Audrey  Jackie
What: 2nd Annual Heber Creeper Getaway
When: July 16, 2008
Where: Heber City 
Why: It's tradition!

Today's "just-girls adventure" on the Heber Creeper couldn't have been better--perfect weather (80 degrees), almost-perfect ride (a staged train robbery scared the little girls when the villain shot his gun right next to us), and perfect location (Provo Canyon). We loved kickin' back on the two-hour ride and eating lunch in Heber City. Some of life's greatest moments are not so far from home!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Girls Night Out - American Idol Concert

Okay, I admit it!  I'm a David Archuleta fan!  And this year, for whatever reason, I became a part of the "cast your vote for your favorite American Idol contestant" craze.  So when I bought tickets for the American Idol concert in Salt Lake City, I wondered if I would be the oldest person at the E-Center completely surrounded by screaming thirteen-year old girls begging to be the next Mrs. Archuletta!  

Monday night, Ashley, Bethany, and I had one of those rare "girls night out," and other than getting stuck in stand-still traffic near the E-Center, we had a lot of fun being a part of the hoop-la. 

Since Randy, Paula, and Simon are on vacation and after seeing the AI Tour, here's "my take" of the whole American Idol phenomenon:  (1) Television doesn't do these singers justice:  all of the contestants are far beyond the word "amateur."  (2) Even better in person: Michael Johns, David Archuleta, and David Cook.  Overrated: Ramiele, Jason Castro, and Syesha.  Surprises: Kristy Lee Cook and Chikezie. Just what I thought: Brooke and Carly.  (3) Okay, I admit it, the viewers did get it right:  David Cook is amazing--both as a singer and performer.  But Archuleta still brought the house down when he sang "Angels" and "When You Say You Love Me"--such a rare talent and still so humble!  I can't wait to buy his C.D.  

What was the best part of the night?  Spending it with "my two girls!"  

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our Early Morning Bike Rides

Old habits never die!  For years, I have been getting up before the cock crows for one project or another--so now it's summer, and I thought to myself, I want to live the good life and "sleep in."  No such luck!  My internal clock still thrusts me out-of-bed, only there is nowhere to go, nothing to do.  So Craig and I resurrected the bikes and found an amazing trail near our home which follows the Jordan River.  The trail also loops around some marshlands with some amazing wildlife.  In fact, this morning we saw three deer and two raccoons, along with the hundreds of birds that migrate to the area. 

We're not die-hard bikers with helmets and skin-tight attire, but rather members of the "has been club" just getting some much-needed exercise.  So this week, I finally told Craig, "It's time we get you a new bike!" He'd been eyeing a Schwinn at Costco for over a month, and the fact that his old bike, another Schwinn, is the one he's owned since he was eight-years old (yes, that's true) finally convinced Craig that it's okay to buy him a "toy!"  Pictures will be coming. Those 5:30 a.m. shots might be a little scary!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Here - There - Everywhere

This "blog thing" brings back memories of yearbook deadlines at NSHS and knowing that I'll never outsmart the computer! I've been hopelessly trying to rotate some pictures to add to this blog page . . . no such luck!  Anyway, here's a recap of the week:  Monday, Ashley, Halle, and I spent the day in Salina visiting our families.  Halle loved riding in Kent's "Gator," watching the baby birds in the trees, and picking up all the green apples from Grandpa Wayne's yard.  We spent lunch with my parents and Kemarie at El Mexicano--oh, I miss those chips and salsa!  On Wednesday, Craig left for three days of site visits to the county jails from Daggett to Grand County, and I spent at least an hour trying to get to Bingham High School for an English meeting. (Needless to say, I'll be taking I-15 once school starts with all the road construction on Redwood Road.)  Ryan, Bethany, and Audrey  let me tag along with them that evening to see Jordan Sparks at an outdoor concert in Orem.  She was great, but just about everyone around us spent the evening watching Audrey "move to the groove!"   I told Ryan that he had better get ready for years of dance and/or singing recitals!  Today (Friday), Craig raced back to his offices for an afternoon meeting with Governor Huntsman.  Craig, as usual, didn't seem too excited--he was just glad to get home and mow the lawn!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Craig, Devin, and I just returned from a week-long trip to the Midwest.  Any vacation at the Burr household (according to Devin) simply means "visiting another Major League Baseball park!"  This year, we scratched off three more fields from the list with games at the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox baseball fields.  However, I managed to squeeze in some other fun things to our itinerary:  seeing the Broadway play Wicked, touring Indiana (Craig's first trip back since he served there as a missionary), spending a night at the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville.   After a week, we certainly won't miss staying in another La Quinta for quite some time, but we'd love to return to the Chicago area again.  The museums are certainly a "must see" for anyone visiting Chicago!  

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

Halle and Audrey tried out Grandma's new swimming pool yesterday.  I had always dreamed of a pool in the back yard for swimming laps; however, this inflated pool wasn't quite what I had in mind.  The girls simply loved the J.C. Penney version--especially the second time around when they jumped in again--with their clothes and shoes on!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A New Adventure

I'm finally jumping on the blogging bandwagon.  I hope this will be a great way to keep up with friends and family.  I'll post more later.